Customer Review

209 of 239 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An improvement for sure, but still some frustrating things, October 8, 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Wii Fit Plus (Video Game)
I'm assuming that anyone viewing this is buying just Wii Fit Plus, without the board, and so am evaluating this as an upgrade to the original. I was so excited to get this upgrade as I was a fan of the Wii Fit from the time it came out, but it's since been put in the closet in favor of other exercise games (my current favorite being the Gold's Gym Shape Boxing). So I had high hopes for this, particularly after getting the awesome Wii Sports Resort. But I'm not as thrilled with this as other users. Since the pluses have been pretty well covered by others, I'll just mention my gripes with the game (I definitely like the improvements, but those are well advertised and mentioned numerous times by other reviewers so will just save you the hassle of reading all about them again).

First, it gives you 15 new games but they all appear on their own screen, rather than incorporated into the balance and aerobic games panels so you have to kind of remember which are which (and I guess some aren't really either). Couldn't they have just spent a little time reorganizing things rather than this obviously "added on" kind of screen? I also continue to be frustrated with the lack of accuracy. Things like the math game where you have to bump your hips in certain directions, it constantly is reading me incorrectly, which particularly in that game really messes things up. Likewise trying to aim in the snowball fight was an exercise in getting a Wii remote to work properly. The games that require stepping onto the board in time with the music continue to baffle me, I've yet to determine what will get it to register good scores on these no matter how perfectly I seem to be on the beat. Kids in particular it often has trouble with (we are guessing this is due to their considerably lighter weight), and when we've played with other people, they always seem to have issues with some action or another. They'll suddenly stop running or jumping in the middle of the obstacle course for instance, and much swearing will ensue. It's not for lack of practice, the game just behaves really flaky. I've played other similar games (like the aforementioned shape boxing) that are not nearly as bad at registering my movements, and so this continues to frustrate me. After having experienced how much better it can be in Sports Resort with the motion plus, I just had to keep reminding myself it's not all about getting higher scores, but getting some exercise. Hard for my competitive nature though, when things keep going so off kilter.

The new games are a mixed bag for me. There are a few I enjoy, most underwhelmed me considerably. I really wanted to see a lot more stuff that is *exercise* in this version, but seems most of the aerobic type games involve running in place on the board (the flapping game being the exception). This is a big issue for me as I had a bad knee and cannot run for long on such a hard, high-impact surface. Otherwise, it seems a lot of the new games are more balance games, that really aren't much, if any, exercise. Bumping your hips to do math and throwing snowballs is all very fun, but I have plenty of other Wii games to have fun with. Some of the games we really like...they just aren't much exercise (Tilt City and Juggling for instance). Granted the Wii Fit has always been only light exercise, but I really hoped to get more that really got me moving....in different kinds of ways. I also would have liked to see more of the games just with extended times, so you aren't constantly exercising for 2-4 minutes and then stopping to start the game again. Would it really have been that hard to do another, longer level for the stepping or boxing or even the newer games like skateboarding? This continues to be a major issue with the Wii Fit, and doesn't seem like it would have been that hard to address. On the flip side, I wonder about some of these games and how appropriate they are to do for any amount of time. When I've played the chicken game at more advanced levels for instance, I often have shoulder pain from all the flapping...not a real normal arm motion for most people. The game can pressure you into pushing to do these motions at higher speeds that is appropriate, so use caution particularly with children...or us older folks that don't know when to quit either! It's also not hard on some of these games to get running fast enough to lose track of your place on the board and misstep on the edge. Overall, when compared with other exercise programs out there now, it just really doesn't have that much for even a half-decent aerobic workout, and I've since come to appreciate games that don't require dragging out the Wii Fit board, and that I can do on a yoga mat and/or with shoes on to reduce the impact issues, and that do the exercise(s) at a strictly controlled speed and intensity to reduce chance of injury.

Another issue for me was that the custom workouts only use the strength and yoga training. Due to the physical issues I have (and limited space), very few of these are doable for me, so the balance and aerobic exercises are what I want to do most of the time. Likewise with the kids I know, these are what they want to spend their time on. I was so frustrated to find that I am still having to spend 50% of my time navigating around and don't have a way to line up a bunch of games and just play them straight through like I was expecting. Considering the issue with the short length of the games, this is a real issue that should have not been overlooked. Another thing that drives us a little batty is all the screens you have to click through with each new player. We do *love* the new feature to switch to another Mii and play as a guest, but when you do this, it won't unlock new levels for that player, or track their Fit credits. There really needs to be a SKIP feature for all those screens that none of us read anyway. The Fit Plus seems to have even more of them.

Overall, I am glad to have some new games to play with it, and for anyone that is new to the Wii Fit, it's got a lot of worthwhile improvements over the original such that there's no reason to buy the original over this one. And if you still regularly use your Wii Fit, there's enough improvements and new features and games that you will definitely want to consider getting this. For those of us that have gotten tired of it and moved onto other, better exercise programs I don't think this is going to bring enough to the table to get that board out of the closet for long. The new games are fun and being able to create your own list of yoga and strength exercises is a nice touch and may keep you entertained for a short while, but overall I was disappointed with the lack of growth in terms of this providing a decent everyday workout. But for $20 or less, it still may be worth considering, not necessarily as an exercise program, but for a batch of pretty fun games. I would still love to see a Fit Plus Plus that addresses some of these issues though. It also would be nice to see a Wii Fit Kids that has games of easier skill level for younger children. A lot of these games are pretty challenging for kids to get through even at Beginner level (heck, even the adults needed a LOT of attempts to conquer the beginner obstacle course levels). It also tends to give "overweight" messages to kids that are of perfectly normal weights for their age...not a message that they need in this overly-image sensitive time!
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 14, 2009 10:04:05 AM PST
Thanks for this review, Mary Jo. I had heard about the "custom workout" and thought I could assemble my own group of exercises from all the categories to provide a continuous work out. You just saved me $20!

Posted on Nov 22, 2009 5:39:33 PM PST
I agree - the messaging on overweight or not is inappropriate. I like how EA Active handles it.
Let people choose their own goal weight - don't force it on them.

Posted on Nov 29, 2009 12:16:10 AM PST
Giraffegrrl says:
Thank you SO much for your review. It's exactly the info. I needed to not buy this. The same annoying issues and the weight thing IS really annoying. I don't like a game to tell me what to do in this area!

Posted on Dec 24, 2009 6:10:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2009 6:14:22 PM PST
I have found this game absolutely fantastic, and worth every penny. I'm sorry you haven't enjoyed it. There are a few comments I'd like to make to clarify some of the statements you've made.

I really like the fact that the new games are in their own section - I'm very familiar with the other games and like having all of the new ones in one area. I actually really like the 'added on' kind of screen. Just a personal pref but I thought I'd mention it. I also haven't had any problems with it registering my kids - but then they're 10 and 12, maybe yours are much younger.

The math game where you bump your hips into the mushrooms is about BALANCE. It's not 'reading' you incorrectly, you're not shifting your weight properly. It's not about simply pushing your hips in the right direction - you have to shift your weight properly. Throwing your hips to the right but leaning too far to the left isn't going to register with the game properly.

I've had no problems with the snowball game - maybe your sensor isn't set up properly to sense the controller position.

As for the step aerobics - I've had a run where I've hit every step perfectly except for like four - again, it's technique. I will say there are certain times where if you miss the first step - you will NEVER hit the second step of the sequence perfectly no matter what you do. Other than that, though, it's not hard to hit the steps perfectly.

Again, I hate to keep saying this but I've just had no problem with the obstacle course. It does exactly what I tell it to do. I've had no problem getting to the second level but, of course, it gets more challenging after that.

As for running on the board - as far as I know, you're not supposed to EVER run on the BOARD - you put the controller in your pocket and run on the FLOOR. Maybe I don't understand what you're saying, but, for instance, the running game where you have the pace runner - you absolutely do NOT run on the board - it specifically instructs you to not do so. The obstacle course I don't really consider 'running', so maybe I'm just not on exactly the same page as you in terminology.

As far as exercise (which I think this is GREAT for by the way), they have added another dimension to these games. You mention Tilt City. This game is a mental and physical combo agility game. It isn't aerobic or an exercise game. You tilt the controller one way while shifting your weight the same or different way. Mentally challenging, but certainly not an aerobic exercise. The point of this game is agility and mental awareness - not exercise.

Lastly, I agree with the BMI messages for kids - BMI is not a very appropriate measure for anyone anyway - very broad guidelines that don't take into account physical structure, etc. Certainly not appropriate for kids. I've had the BMI talk with my two lovely daughters - a little education from you will make certain your children don't develop a complex from this. The game also says in several places that the BMI information is not appropriate for people under 19, so this isn't really an issue for me. And, again, I stress it with my daughters almost EVERY time it comes up. It's pretty accurate for me, though - I definitely need to lose weight! :-)

One thing I REALLY wanted in the original was the ability to combine strength and yoga moves into a customized workout so I was VERY please this has been added. I agree it would be nice to customize with any of the activities. The Plus has also added another feature you may or may not be aware of. You can view activities based on the ones you use the most. This is a great way to get to all of your favorites very quickly without going back and forth in and out of menus. It's in the same area.

I'm sorry your experience hasn't been as great, but I think the Plus is worth every penny of the $20. Couldn't recommend it more.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2009 8:19:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2009 4:12:15 PM PST
Randall, I appreciate your extra comments even if I don't really agree with your experience. Just some additional comments.

Yes, the kids I have had on it are under the age of 10. It *always* tells them they are overweight. There should be a way to turn that off (or just do it automatically for kids).

Math Game - Yes, I know it is about balance, but everyone that has tried it has trouble with it accurately registering their moves compared to other balance games. Combine that with the difficulty of doing math quickly and we have had little luck with it other than on the easy level.

Step Aerobics. Sure, it's easy to say I'm just not playing it right, but I simply *don't* have the same kind of problem in other games. I can get perfect or near perfect scores in nearly everything but there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to how these work. I have had a bit more luck with the marching band game with practice, but then I also find it rather boring and simply have no desire to play it. No one else played it after trying it once or twice, it's one of our least favorite games.

Obstacle Course - I actually haven't had too much trouble with this and usually make it to the second level. It's probably my favorite game of the bunch and is for most people that have played the different games. Heck, I'd probably be happy to pay $20 for an entire series of games based on this concept alone. But I've seen other people have totally inexplicable issues with the character not running when the player is clearly moving on the board and getting smashed as a result. I'm not sure if it's a weight issue or what, but it really is obvious when it happens. I watched my BIL play this game for almost two hours with the game getting "stuck" at the end of the last course on the beginner level every single time even though his feet were clearly moving correctly (with much angry language ensuing as a result!) It was just driving him totally nuts trying to get the game to work properly for him. Granted it was rather entertaining for the rest of us, but I'm surprised the board didn't end up smashed itself by the time he finally got past all the obstacles.

Running on the board - well, step or jog in place I guess is more accurate. I've been told some people do leave shoes on to reduce the impact, but I personally just find it hard to stay as centered with shoes on, and balance games in particular hard to play. But definitely with the shoes off games like the obstacle course take a toll on me more than they should.

Yes, I *know* the Tilt City is not intended to be physical exercise, but that's the point...there's too little in the new games that truly *does* offer significant exercise. More than half of the new games are balance-type games, and a fair number of the other games (like the marching band) are not going to work up a sweat for all but the most out-of-shape people. It's even more tilted (excuse the pun!) in favor of non-exercise type games than the original so people buying this as an upgrade should be aware of that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2010 8:49:12 AM PST
chris345 says:
You don't have to weigh each time you play the game. So there's no reason for kids to see their weight or BMI.....

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 9:37:47 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 8, 2010 9:41:06 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 16, 2010 8:15:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2010 8:41:42 PM PST
EPMoto2002 says:
i know you mentioned you don't have timing issues with other games, but is your balance board located on a hard surface or do you have it on soft carpet or maybe a deep rubberized workout mat? maybe that's causing problems with the board registering and not registering randomly?'

Also, just wanted to say I think your review was honest and to the point. For a little fun and entertainment, Wii Fit Plus is fine. Some people may even love it from an exercise/fitness standpoint... it's all relative to each person's current fitness level and expectations. But for individuals who want to keep an elevated HR for 30,45,60, and even 75 minutes... meaning not spending huge amounts of downtime between exercises navigating menues; for people who want to focus on actually working out to a cohesive well devised multi-week/multi-month EXERCISE PROGRAM, well then Wii Fit Plus is not the solution. The truth is, I don't think Nintendo ever intended Wii Fit to be a serious weightloss/exercise/health tool, and I don't think they will ever convert the "FIT" franchise into that area. It's 80% entertainment and I think they intend to keep it in that area so as not to intemidate a large portion of the U.S. population. It's just a shame though... If companies like EA (Sports Active) and Ubi (My Fitness Coach) can create true workout games that can show real results in 30 days, you would hope that Nintendo would get the message and comeout with another offering that give the "hard-core" exactly what they are looking for.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2010 4:08:57 PM PST
Actually, I usually use it on my hardwood floor. I do sometimes use a mat underneath sometimes just reduce the impact, but as you note, that then seems to effect its accuracy. So for me other workout games/programs that allow me to use a mat are often much better for that reason. The balance games in general are the ones I have the least problem with (I've really come to like the Tilt City as a strictly strategic challenge...it's simply not exercise to me, but certainly fun).

I'm not sure how much of workout tool Nintendo expects the Wii Fit to be, but it certainly is marketed as such. Why even have the game track your weight goals and calorie burn if it's not expected to be an exercise tool? But yeah, it definitely falls short of some other Wii programs in that respect. Definitely in terms of a sustained aerobic workout in particular. Even still, as I noted in my review of the original Wii Fit, if something isn't fun and interesting enough to get those of us that hate exercising involved, it's not going to succeed either. ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2010 2:17:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 27, 2010 2:21:57 PM PDT
well that makes a difference for me. That is one big reason I was starting to change my mind about wanting this game. I don't want a game that would reinforce my 7 year old daughter's already negative self body image! The other big thing I'm hearing is not being able to have a sustained aerobic workout! I mean if there's breaks between strength training exercises then that's fine, but you need to elevate your heart rate and keep it elevated for whatever amount of time. (I'd likely begin myself with 20 minutes,then have my goal be to be able to do 60 minutes of nonstop aerobic exercise). So if this game doesn't do that, maybe it's not for me. But if you don't have to weigh in each time you play, I won't have to worry so much about the game calling my child 'fatty'
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